Access Restrictions Eased At Flood-Stricken Sarpy County Properties

Sarpy County officials say as more residents return to their properties in the Betty, Chris and Hanson Lakes community, they are adjusting the access restrictions to allow them more flexibility when entering and leaving the area.

Any resident with a driver’s license that shows a Betty, Chris or Hanson Lakes address can access the area 24 hours a day. All other access will be limited to the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Communities Still Inaccessible

Vencil’s Island, Sands Trailer Court and Riha Lakes remain inaccessible because of flooding and road damage.

Health and Safety

The floodwaters across Sarpy County are likely to be contaminated with sewage and other hazardous materials. Avoid direct contact with the floodwater and use caution when handling items that have come in contact with floodwater. Flooding can create conditions favorable for tetanus, and uncommon but very serious disease. Contact your healthcare provider to inquire about the status of your tetanus vaccine. It is recommended that adults receive a booster for tetanus every 10 years.

As floodwaters recede, mold is a major health concern. Homeowners and volunteers cleaning structures affected by flooding should be prepared to protect themselves by utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment, including long pants, long sleeve shirts or jackets, sturdy boots, work gloves and N-95 respirators.

For more information on health concerns related to flooding, visit the Sarpy/Cass Health Department website: SarpyCassHealthDepartment.org.

Debris and Disposal

Through March 26, 432.9 tons of debris have been removed from flood-affected areas.

Household hazardous waste should be taken to Under the Sink at 4001 S. 120th Street in Omaha. This includes cleaning products, paint, paint remover, antifreeze, automotive batteries, automotive fluids, caulk, aerosol cans, adhesives, garden chemicals, pool chemicals. For a complete list of what they accept, visit underthesink.org.

For information about how to dispose of chemicals safely, click here.

FEMA Assistance

Anyone whose home, business or property was damaged by the flooding can apply for federal disaster assistance. Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Anyone with questions can call the FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362.

Avoid Scams

A number of unsolicited contractors have requested access to restricted communities in Sarpy County. The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office is not allowing contractors into these communities unless a home/property owner contacted that specific contractor.

Use caution when hiring firms to help with cleanup, demolition or construction. Never sign anything without reading it first. Only do business with companies and individuals you trust. If you have concerns, contact the Better Business Bureau before signing any contract or agreement.

More information about avoiding scams after a disaster is available on Sarpy.com.

Utilities

An electrical inspection may be required by local or state electrical authorities before service can be restored by OPPD. If you have access to your property, you can submit an application for an electrical permit online or by calling 402-593-1555 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Small Business Administration Recovery Center

The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a Business Recovery Center to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the severe winter storm, straight-line winds and flooding. The center will open on March 27 at Bellevue University’s John Muller Administrative Services Building, 812 Bruin Boulevard in Bellevue. It will be open from 9 a.m-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday.

“SBA customer service representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application,” said SBA Director Tanya N. Garfield.

Tax Relief

Sarpy residents and business owners affected by flooding may qualify for tax relief. Learn more by contacting the IRS office in Omaha at 844-545-5640.

Agriculture Relief Resources

The Department of Agriculture has provided a list of disaster relief resources for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska.

USDA Farm Service Agency office in Omaha can provide assistance to ag producers. They can also provide assistance with the Livestock Indemnity Program and reporting lost machinery. To contact the Omaha Service Center, call 402-896-0121.

National Guard Assisting Law Enforcement

Nebraska National Guard members are assisting deputies at several entry points across the county. Everyone is asked to remember that Guard members are citizens who have stepped away from their jobs to help Sarpy County and its residents, and to be patient as there could be waits at the entry points.

Resources for Flood Victims

Salvation Army Distribution Center

  • Those affected by flooding can get supplies at the distribution center at 8425 W. Center Road (former Canfield’s store) in Omaha. Items available (while supplies last): bottled water, mops, buckets, shovels, rakes, bleach, work gloves and household cleaning supplies. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
  • Dial 211 or visit 211.org
  • Those affected by flooding can call 211 or visit 211.org for a resource directory. Callers will be connected to an operator who will assist them in finding resources and services available in the community
  • SarpyFlood.org: This website is hosted by local churches and organizations in cooperation with the Sarpy County Emergency Management Agency to provide information for flood victims and volunteer opportunities.
  • Nebraska.gov/nebraska-strong: The state’s website connects people to flood-related resources and assistance.

Pets and Livestock

Residents concerned about pets or livestock should contact the Nebraska Humane Society at 402-444-7800 ext. 1.

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